Fire Department Investigates Alleged Removal of Black Lives Matter Banner

Retired firefighters say they are not surprised

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The Chicago Fire Department says it is investigating an alleged incident over the weekend in which someone in a firetruck stopped to remove a Black Lives Matter banner in Kenwood.

The alleged incident happened over the weekend here near Kenwood Park and was posted to social media.

CFD spokesperson Larry Langford said the investigation into the claims will be followed up vigorously by the department’s civilian internal affairs office.

“The conduct described in this allegation will not be tolerated by the Chicago Fire Department,” Langford said In a statement. “I assure you, we will rapidly get to the bottom of this and if found to be accurate, discipline and corrective action will be swift and just.”

On Tuesday morning, at least two firefighters at Station 45 were served with allegations that could include conduct unbecoming an officer.

Now a group of retired firefighters are saying reports of that kind of behavior aren’t surprising.

"This is a reflection of the city of Chicago,” said Robert McKay.

He and a group of almost a dozen men who say they were proud to serve gathered outside Station 45 Tuesday afternoon to say they are not proud of elements within the department

Retired Captain Ezra McCann said he believes taking down a Black Lives Matter sign “is pretty arrogant.”

But these proud former firefighters say they worry about more than just allegedly racist behavior.

“Racism equates to poor service,” McCann said. “So right now, if this is what we got servicing us in our community, we are not sure our people are being respected, being serviced correctly.”

The retired firefighters say they stand with their community; and want a meeting with the mayor to address what they see as racism in the department.

“You can’t be a good guy if you allow racism to be blatant,” said Dane Tucker. “If you see something, you got to say something.”

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